Written by: Michael Den Boer on September 3rd, 2017
BluRay released: August 29th, 2017
Approximate running time: 80 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Vinegar Syndrome
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.98
Red Roses of Passion was written and directed by Joseph W. Sarno who’s other notable films include, Sin in the Suburbs, Flesh and Lace, All the Sins of Sodom, Inga, Vampire Ecstasy and Abigail Lesley Is Back in Town.
When it comes to discussing soft-core erotica cinema, there is no denying Joseph W. Sarno’s impact on this sub-genre of films. And nowhere was this more evident, then how he continued to push the boundaries of what was allowed to be shown in films at a time when censorship still had a more stranglehold on erotic content.
Another area where his legacy stands out is his prolific output as a filmmaker. Where many of his contemporaries were one and done filmmakers, or had a filmography that consisted of a few films. He had a career that spanned five decades and a filmography that would surpass 120 films.
Content wise, Red Roses of Passion has all the ingredients that have since become synonymous with the cinema of Joseph W. Sarno. And besides themes related to sexuality, the film also dabbles into the realm of the supernatural.
The plot revolves around a young woman named Carla, whose sexual desires feel repressed by her cousin and aunt’s moral condemnation. Fortunately for Carla, there is a silver lining for her dilemma and it comes in the form of a woman named Martha who uses her Cult that worships the god Pan to corrupt Carla’s cousin and aunt. Of course, there are unholy consequences for making such a pack.
From a production standpoint, this film’s greatest strength is its atmospheric visuals which do a very good reinforcing the more sinister aspects of the story at hand. The soft-core sex scenes are best described as serviceable. With the film’s finale being the most memorable of the soft-core sex scenes.
Performance wise, the entire cast more than fulfill their roles. With this film’s standout performance being Helena Clayton in the role of Martha, the high priestess of Cult of Pan. Another performance of note is Patricia McNair (Unholy Matrimony) in the role of this film’s protagonist Carla. And it is ultimately her characters fate, the provides this film’s most satisfying moment.
Red Roses of Passion comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The transfer for this release was scanned and restored in 2k from 35mm original camera negative. There are no issues with compression, details look sharp, contrast and black levels look solid throughout.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English and included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles. The audio sounds, clean, clear and balanced throughout.
Extras for this release include, an interview with Sarno historian Michael Bowen (20 minutes 49 seconds) who discusses, his thoughts about Red Roses of Passion, themes explored in the film, the distribution history of the film, producer Gabriel Cicale and Amalfi Films, background information about the film, the cast, the crew and his thoughts about the visuals.
Also, included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo. Overall Red Roses of Passion gets a solid release from Vinegar Syndrome, highly recommended.
Note: This Blu-ray / DVD combo is strictly limited to 2,000 units and exclusively available through VinegarSyndrome.com and a few other select retail outlets.